It’s In Health Journals And On Internet Boards. But What Is Gluten?
Gluten Free or Gluten Full – it is a hot topic. Do you know what gluten is? Do you know what it does? Dr. Amy Myers, author and functional medicine physician, addresses these questions and many more concerning this topic. Continue reading or skip to the full article.
What is Gluten?
The Celiac Disease Foundation notes that the name is a general term for the proteins found in wheat, rye and barley. The word “gluten” has a root in the French meaning “sticky substance” & in Latin meaning “glue”. Basically, gluten is the ‘glue’ that holds your food together. According to Dr. Amy, the wheat and other grains we eat today are not the same as what our grand or great grandparents grew.
What Happens When We Eat It?
Gluten has two proteins that can have devastating effects on our bodies. One of the effects is how the body’s defense system attacks itself and eats away at the digestive system, specifically, the microvilli in the intestines.
The microvilli act as little “fingers”, if you will, collecting the nutrients your body needs as the body works to digest the food you eat. But, over time, damage will occur to the microvilli through erosion. So the long fingers of the microvilli become little stubby knobs. This change doesn’t allow your body to absorb enough of the necessary nutrients it needs to operate from food. The damage can also create little holes in the digestive system. This allow nutrients and waste to roam around where it shouldn’t be.
What Should I Do?
Dr. Amy suggests keeping a journal to determine if you are gluten-sensitive. Write down what you eat for a period of time. Consider how you feel when you eat it. Note any after effects like:
- Excessive gas
- Joint pain
Dr. Amy addresses this with an interview with Dr. Tom Obryan. To listen in, go to Dr. Amy’s full article and scroll to the bottom. The interview appears there along with several reference sources for further investigation.